Phoenix eye ALW expansion, home win over Perth
Wellington coach Natalie Lawrence has hailed the possible addition of another New Zealand side as the A-League Women considers expansion into Auckland.
New Zealand's biggest city and Canberra were named as the two preferred markets for expansion by Australian Professional Leagues this week.
While Phoenix chief executive David Dome was lukewarm on the prospect of another NZ club, pointing to "pros and cons" Lawrence was overwhelmingly positive on the impact for women's football.
"I think it would be great. A New Zealand rivalry, it's already got the girls talking, (saying) 'we're the Phoenix, we already hate them'," she said.
"For women's football in New Zealand, it's a great step. It can only mean good things."
The Nix host Perth Glory on Saturday off the back of the best result of their short existence.
Last year's wooden spooners beat Sydney FC, last year's premiers, by a single goal last Saturday, as they look to avoid another last-placed finish.
The win means they have already beaten last season's points tally and are just one behind second-bottom Newcastle Jets, who they play next weekend.
Lawrence said avoiding last place was "a huge goal".
"Picking up points away at Sydney was huge for us and for the team," Lawrence said.
"This group is incredibly determined, resilient and professional.
"We don't want to be bottom of the league ... and we have a quiet determination."
Lawrence said Australian youth international Claudia Cicco was available after her whirlwind journey last week.
From New Zealand, the right-back travelled to Kyrgyzstan to represent Australia against Guam, scoring a hat-trick.
"She thinks she's a winger now," Lawrence joked.
"We have three games in seven days (coming up). We're going to have to manage that load and try to be smart with the players."